michel eyquem de montaigne was the original blogger–back in the sixteenth century, he wrote about friendship, cannibalism, why we wear clothes, why sex with an amputee is more pleasurable than with any woman with two legs and two arms. he wrote a book entitled “essays”. essayer means to try in french and he was trying to understand his world through blogging–well, writing about himself.
i have been reading montaigne this past week on a three day sabbatical from the f2fb new year’s resolution to meet and spend time with all 325 of my facebook friends that i had on december 31, 2010.
a lot of philosophers, particularly the classical ones, are obsessed with death. as cicero the roman dude said, “to philosophize is to learn how to die.” i think of anxiety attacks as moments in which i am utterly aware that i am about to die.
montaigne had a near death experience when he fell off a horse when he was thirty six. he seemed none the worse for wear and in fact felt a new optimism and spirit because of it. and he said to hell with the classical dudes–
“if you don’t know how to die, don’t worry: nature will tell you what to do on the spot, fully and adequately. she will do this job perfectly for you; don’t bother your head about it.”
i want to be more like montaigne. or perhaps more like f2fb friend #204 scott rodgers, who captures smiles.
scott and i know each other because i coached his older son david in soccer. i coached boys’ soccer for nine years until i figured out that my sons joseph and eastman don’t like sports (although to be fair, joseph boxes and eastman is on the oberlin college bowling team). scott recently started a new family, becoming a father to two young ones even as david his son goes off to college. scott is brave in a very montaigne way! i admire that a lot!